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Mathematical Treasures - Laplace's Celestial Mechanics

Frank J. Swetz and Victor J. Katz


This is the title page of Nathaniel Bowditch’s (1773 - 1838) English language translation of Volume I of Laplace's Celestial Mechanics. Pierre-Simon de Laplace (1749 - 1827) produced his monumental work: Mécanique Céleste in five volumes during the years 1799 to 1825. Bowditch’s translation was one of the first translations of a major European mathematical work in the new United States of America. He completed the translation in 1818 but delayed publication until 1829 due to a lack of funds for its printing.

Page of Celestial Mechanics

Pages 230 and 231 of Celestial Mechanics discuss the attraction of a body on a point in space.

Frank J. Swetz and Victor J. Katz, "Mathematical Treasures - Laplace's Celestial Mechanics," Convergence (January 2011)

Mathematical Treasures from the Smith and Plimpton Collections at Columbia University